Comcast May Not Have Rights To Stream TV To Tablets

Comcast is working furiously to get its programming onto iPads and other tablet computers, even cutting deals with hardware providers like Samsung. But there’s just one little problem: the company may not have the rights to stream shows without first negotiating with the companies that own them.

The New York Post reports that at least one programmer had to send Comcast a letter reminding the cable giant that it can’t just hand over content that it doesn’t actually own:

“I sell these shows in wireless, in download-to-own, and I sell them to Netflix,” one distribution chief told The Post, noting that the company recently had its lawyer send a letter to Comcast as a reminder it needed to negotiate additional rights.

“I’m not ready to just hand it over to Comcast.” …

[In response, Comcast said:]

“We work with our network partners to collaborate on the content that we offer online and on tablets and will continue to do so,” a Comcast spokeswoman said. “Many of our partners have expressed interest in making their content available to our customers on multiple devices, which we will make available this year.”

Comcast sees making programs available for free via tablets as a way to lock them in to the company’s apps, while producers are reluctant to authorize more free distribution channels, as they don’t want to undercut services like iTunes, which charge for downloads.

Rights static over Comcast iPad TV app [NY Post}

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